Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Bayview's Pearl Harbor Attack?

Recent rumors have been floating around that the Kootenai County Commissioners are considering removing the no wake protection from Scenic Bay. A concerted attack on the status quo is taking place from several directions. One, the city of Post Falls recently was denied a no wake zone on the Spokane River. They then point fingers at Bayview saying, "If they can have one, why can't we?" Thats a pretty valid question, actually. Perhaps the county should consider doing their jobs, which is to protect and serve their constituency.

The history of the no wake zone goes way back to over 20 years ago. It was petitioned for, hearings were held and the protection granted for safety reasons. Many people in Bayview are perfectly happy to have the roar of big engines cranking up delayed until clearing the bay proper. Noise echos off the hill sides and bounces back and forth ruining the quality of life we have heretofore enjoyed. Children can currently paddle small craft and inner tubes safely. That will not be the case if commissioner Tondee gets his wish. Sailboat masts will sword fight at the marinas. Commissioner Tondee suggested to me that during storms, the wind kicks up more waves than boat wakes. I disagree. I live where I can see most of the bay and wind coming into the bay tends to push water, rather than creating large waves. Try comparing that to a speedboat doing 50 mph right down the center of the bay.

In a conversation with Tondee yesterday, he freely admitted to being in favor of elimination. A television station recently interviewed a boater from Spokane who objected to the exaggerated 20 minutes it takes to clear the bay. Those that don't live here, pay no local taxes, and don't vote for commissioners, probably don't give a rat's ass what happens to our life style here. But then why the commissioners are siding with outsiders is a puzzle. One theory is that to keep Bayview safe and sane, they would have to grant Post Falls it's reasonable request for similar protection, and perhaps other bays as well. OK, why not. If the need is there, pay the bucks. Are the commissioners going to fund more sheriff department water deputies?

It has become obvious to this blogger, that our elected leaders are taking an approach to areas like ours, that is not representative of the majority at all. When I asked the receptionist at Parks and Waterways if the rumors were true, she said she had not heard any such thing and would know, if it were true. Tondee explained that the waterways advisory board was instructed to hold a town meeting in Bayview at an yet undecided time and date. If this sounds like the skids being greased for a decision already made, it probably is.Folks, it is time to come out publicly and howl in protest if you believe this move is not warranted. It also would behoove our elected officials and those working for them, to be more dedicated to the truth.


Sheryl said...

Herb, great work. I support your efforts. Here is my letter to the Commissioners. I urge others to write.

I support the no-wake zone in Scenic Bay. Safety alone warrants it. While it may inconvenience some, that is a small price to pay for the safety for multiple users and peace and quiet it provides to our community.

As bigger, louder, faster boats fill our lake, Scenic Bay remains just that, a scenic, serene and safe harbor for all that use it. No wake zones are vital for erosion prevention, and scenic preservation.

Scenic Bay is unique because it has float homes, lots of them, that are effected by boat traffic. Removing the no wake zone would have detrimental repercussions for these owners/users.

Sheryl Puckett

James said...

Sheryl, my hat is off to you for your fine letter. It seems to me that the residents of Bayview have been in a besieged state for several years now. I have observed that the commissioners talk a good game when it comes to helping but never seem to provide the positive action needed. Big power boats create huge wakes even at quarter throttle and there is absolutely no justification for doing it in the bay. Mr. Tondee obviously is not working in the best interests of a sizeable group of Kootenai County taxpayers who enjoy and/or live in this beautiful area.

Shame on Mr. Tondee.

And many thanks to Herb for the story.